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Captain Kane at the double as England seal late win

Tunisia 1 (Sassi 35′(pen))
England 2 (Kane 11′, 90+1)

By Ben James

England captain Harry Kane scored twice on his World Cup debut as England defeated Tunisia 2-1 in their Group G encounter in Volgograd.

The Three Lions’ youngest-ever World Cup captain led from the front as his two goals book-ended the match either side of Tunisia’s equaliser.

England raced out of the blocks, as Jesse Lingard saw his shot denied on the line by the left foot of Mouez Hassen in the second minute and Raheem Sterling’s two-and-a-half year goalless run for England continued when he contrived to miss an open goal from several yards out.

The deadlock was broken in the 11th minute when John Stones’ header off Ashley Young’s corner was clawed off the line by Hassen only to fall straight to Harry Kane, who finished clinically from point blank range.

The match turned when Tunisia were awarded a penalty for Kyle Walker’s swinging arm in the box.

Jordan Pickford could only get fingertips to the ball as Ferjani Sassi equalised from the spot.

England created more chances in an effort to regain the lead, with Harry Kane denied a penalty shout for being wrestled down in the box and Lingard beating the keeper but not the post after being played through by Kieran Trippier.

The first half finished at 1-1, despite England having almost 60 per cent of possession and 12 shots to four in a fairly open display.

England retained the ball well in the second half but seemed to lack energy in the hot, humid conditions and chances proved harder to come by as Kane saw another penalty shout waved away in similar circumstances to the first half.

Neither side had any clear-cut opportunities as Tunisia played more defensively, remaining untroubled by England’s neat ball movement that was too slow to cause defensive problems.

Just when it seemed as if England would rue their early missed chances, Kane was the difference again as he found himself unmarked at the back post from Harry Maguire’s flick-on and powered his header past Ben Mustapha.

After the match, Kane suggested that England was unfortunate not to have more go their way but was proud of his team’s resilience.

“I think there could have been a couple of penalties, especially when you look at their one.”

“Credit it to the lads, we kept going. It shows good character to get on with it and that’s what we’ve done.”

Team line-ups

Tunisia (4-3-3): 22 Hassen (15′); 12 Maaloul, 11 Bronn, 2 Ben Youssef .S, 4 Meriah; 13 Sassi, 9 Badri, 17 Skhiri; 23 Sliti (74′), 10 Khazri (85′), 8 Ben Youssef .F
Substitutes Used: 1 Ben Mustapha (15′), 14 Ben Amor (74′), 19 Khalifa (85′)

England (3-5-2): 1 Pickford; 6 Maguire, 5 Stones, 2 Walker; 18 Young, 20 Alli (80′), 8 Henderson, 7 Lingard (90+3), 12 Trippier; 10 Sterling (68′), 9 Kane
Substitutes Used: 19 Rashford (68′), 21 Loftus-Cheek (80′), Dier (90+3)

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